LACONIA — Shari Romprey says she has been refinishing furniture “my whole life” and it was a natural progression that led her to open Shari’s Modern Vintage Attic at 84 Union Avenue nearly a year ago.
“I’d been collecting stuff to paint, and ended up with an eclectic mix of modern and old misfits, so I came in here in November,” she said of the former factory space adjacent to the Winnipesaukee River in downtown Laconia.
With 6,000 square feet of space, she was worried about being able to fill it all with what she had, so she started taking consignments as well. Now, she said, her inventory is spilling over into the entryway.
Romprey said she is fussy about what she takes on consignment, wanting to offer good pieces that will catch people’s attention and keep them coming back.
“The whole idea was to get a range of items, and keep them turning over. We’re not easily visible here, but seeing what we have and knowing there will always be something new keeps people coming back,” she said. “Word of mouth has been great.”
Roger Allen is one of those who are consigning items to the shop. He purchased a booth last June to better showcase what he has for sale. While he has older items for sale at the Laconia Antiques Center, much of what he has to offer does not qualify as an antique, and the Modern Vintage Attic was just the place for those items.
“This is a destination to find unique stuff,” he said.
While she is focusing on nice wooden furniture, Romprey noted that the shop also offers other household items and some crafts. She has taken on some custom painting orders and would like to offer craft classes in the future.
Romprey said she still has the first piece she painted. She really became involved in painting furniture after her children had entered college, which led her to start selling items.
The business has taken over her life — she spends most of her spare time seeking out unique items for the shop or delivering furniture — but she still enjoys going out camping with her family.
She and her husband, Mark, live in Belmont, where they raised their four children, and the family enjoys doing “weekend stuff” in the Lakes Region, which includes outdoor activities and camping. She said she also used to do a lot of hiking, but had to cut back after injuring her leg.
Finding nice furniture to maintain a variety in the store is her main focus, and she said she loves the space, with windows overlooking the river.
“The building is phenomenal, and the landlord has been great,” she said.
“Business is good,” she said. “They keep coming back.”